Welcome to this week’s roundup of intriguing startup and small business news! Today, we’re focusing on energetic new entrepreneurs on the UK scene and their tech-related companies. And, while we’re on the subject of startups, if you’re looking for help with a business starting point, or the logistics of a startup, be sure to check out these new ebooks!
As a judge for the recently awarded UK Tech4Good Awards, author Anna Bawden reflects on how difficult it was to choose from so many worthy social smart technology nominees. Her favorites included Open Bionics, for developing 3D printed bionic hands for amputees. With the price of only £1,000 for a hand with similar range of a traditional product (at £20,000-£80,000) and only ½ the weight, this amazing invention is sure to mean the world to those previously unable to afford one.
Ms. Bawden appears especially passionate about digital inclusion, the technology necessary to make websites available to the disabled (27pc of these adults have yet to be able to use the Internet). She feels the UK would do well to follow Norway’s lead with their Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act passed in 2013 to standardize accessibility of all websites, both new and established.
More on this subject in our new post: Tech For Good – Why The Time Is Right!
Two new entrepreneurs caught our attention in this post by Drew Hendricks, who explains that out-of-the-box startups are “changing the way that people work, communicate and interact with the entire world.”
Ian Hogarth’s Songkick has created one of east London’s hottest startups. The industry of music downloads is reinventing itself, in no small part thanks to tech innovations. As the biggest source for UK concerts, Songkick alerts fans when their favourite bands are playing, also giving you a last-chance notice when tickets are depleting. The idea sprang from recognising that people weren’t attending live music events because they couldn’t keep up with locations and calendars for their best-loved groups.
Though several others have taken vacation rentals up and down the scale of success over the past decade, Tom Valentine has raised $60 million (with the help of Google Ventures) for his startup Secret Escapes. This members-only travel club has booked over 2 million rooms, including bespoke holidays in out-of-the-ordinary destinations such as yurts in Hawaii and even castles.
Though at first glance, Ben Grist’s post appears a tad unconventional, by the third paragraph you’re ready to tag along and listen to his youthful (and hopeful) perspective:
“As a graduate you are in a great position to start your own business and be your own boss. You have minimal outgoings and are unlikely to have financial responsibilities such as a mortgage or children. You haven’t invested years in a career so you don’t have much to lose, and even if it doesn’t work out you will learn a lot from the experience. That experience will be crucial for future business success.”
He touts the benefits of finding a mentor, selling your TV and games console (you won’t have time for them), burning the midnight oil, working from home, and paying friends with skills to save money. From selling chicken coops at 17 years old, to his current wall stickers and prints business, Oakdenedesigns, Grist has found his way to making over a million pounds annually.
Now that you’re doing business on the Internet (or planning to in short order), security is something you shouldn’t ignore. Why take a chance, after investing time and money into your venture? And yet, a near-majority of SMBs are doing just that – surprising as it seems.
After sampling 500 UK owners and decision-makers, Trend Micro found that less than 50pc of our SMBs are taking advantage of Internet security protection. They caution that you should know your legal and regulatory obligations when it comes to data security. You will also want to have a breach response plan in place as a policy for staff to follow if there is an event.
Author James Nunns brings attention to McAfee’s threat report – revealing there’s a 58pc rise in Q2 ransomware. Blue Coat Systems finds the TLDs (top level domains) most often associated with suspicious websites are .zip, .review, .country, .kim and .cricket. They warn that businesses should block traffic leading to these and other shady TLDs.
Don’t forget to take steps to land the matching domain for your business name or trademark, to eliminate the chance of cybersquatting!